Asparagus, Ham, & Cheese Puffs


Easter is quickly approaching, and when I think of Easter, I think of holiday brunch. I am not usually one to enjoy big breakfasts, but there is something about a holiday brunch based around spring vegetables that is particularly appealing. Eggs Benedict is one of my family favorites for holidays breakfast, but if I am hosting a large group, that isn’t a very practical option. Baked egg casseroles are ideal for larger groups, accompanied by trays of sausage and bacon along with vegetables and fruit options.

When planning brunch or holiday breakfast for a group, it is always a good idea to have a lot of choices available that are easy to prepare. Puff pastry is one of my favorite ingredients to use when planning menus for a larger group as its uses are endless. With puff pastry, you can create quick and easy fruit tarts, savory egg cups, or wrap it around vegetables as I have done in this recipe. In fact, I always have packages of puff pastry in my freezer because it thaws out quickly, and you can create something special with it in mere minutes if you have unexpected guests, or want to create something different for the family. This easy recipe wraps squares of puff pastry around lightly blanched asparagus spears, pieces of ham, and cheese. They puff up and turn a golden brown and are delicious served warm.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2017

Asparagus, Ham, & Cheese Puffs

Ingredients:

  • 1 Small Bunch Asparagus
  • 4 Slices Ham, Cut In Half Diagonally
  • 4 Slices Swiss or Gruyere Cheese, Cut In Half Diagonally
  • 1 Sheet Puff Pastry, Thawed
  • 4 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Egg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Trim the asparagus and cook for a minute or two in lightly salted boiling water.
  3. Remove the asparagus from the pot and place in an ice water bath.
  4. Pat dry when cool.
  5. Roll out the pastry sheet flat and cut 8 equal size squares about 5 inches across.
  6. Place the pastry onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Spread the center of each pastry square with the Dijon mustard.
  8. Lay half a slice of ham and one of cheese across the center of the pastry square.
  9. Place three asparagus spears diagonally in the center of each pastry square and fold over two sides of the pastry to enclose.
  10. Use your fingers to press the edges together to close securely.
  11. Beat the egg with a teaspoon of water, and brush the pastry with the egg wash.
  12. Bake the asparagus puffs until puffed and golden brown, about 12 to 13 minutes.
  13. Serve warm.